Humans and scorpions have an unspoken and mutual fear and respect for each other. On one hand, the scorpions never initiated any attacks on us, either fleeing or making a threatening pose whenever we’re nearby. On the other hand, we humans tend to recoil frightfully at the first sight of the arachnids, and we won’t hesitate to call pest control in case they try to invade our home.
Our relationship with this insect is more complicated than you think. Don’t think it’s a big deal? Come take a look at these facts then.
There was no love lost between the two species. As mentioned earlier, we fear and respect each other. However, it doesn’t mean that we won’t try to hurt each other at opportune moments. Luckily, most scorpions aren’t deadly to us (woe to the guy who suddenly encounters an Indian Red Scorpion or the Arizona Bark Scorpion). They could cause you swelling and pain, though, as well as paralysis. Minor stings can be treated through first aid, while more severe cases require hospitalization.
We have made several medical breakthroughs because of the various scientific researches on the scorpions (a lot of the stingers died in the process). Their toxins contain components that could help us treat autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. One particular type of scorpion, the Uroplectes lineatus, is studied for its clinical importance in dermatology. Other species are also being investigated as their venom contains chemicals that are believed to cure cancer. And as if science isn’t enough, many countries still use the bugs in their folk medicine.
The goddess Serket in ancient Egypt represents healing from venomous stings and bites, and is said to be one of the deities that protects their Pharaoh. Ironically she is often depicted as a scorpion; other artifacts show her in human form but with a scorpion on top of her head.
While most of us cringe at the sight of scorpions, some guys look at them hungrily. A lot of countries enjoy various types of bugs as food; you shouldn’t wonder if their list includes scorpions too. In Shandong, China for instance, the locals enjoy the arachnids as one of their traditional dishes. They usually deep fry the poor stingers and enjoy them on sticks, tail and all.
Just look at the stars and you’ll be reminded that one of the twelve Zodiac signs is Scorpio. Islamic art often depict the stingers as an embodiment of evil, as well as a force that protects us from evil. In other cultures, the insect represents human sexuality. And we haven’t even mentioned the number of books and movies where they take center stage!
These things being said, we can conclude that humans and scorpions are “frenemies” at best. We can coexist peacefully…as long as we’re far apart. Better keep your powder dry, though, as well as your pest control’s contact details since some of them would try to claim your house for their own.